Raiders to clash with Belmont, Tennessee Tech

MT hosts Bruins Tuesday, travels to Cookeville Wednesday

April 7, 2014 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee baseball team (14-17, 8-7 C-USA) begins its second-straight five-game week with a pair of midweek contests against in-state foes, hosting Belmont on Tuesday before traveling to Tennessee Tech on Wednesday. Both games are slated for a 6 p.m. first pitch.

The Raiders dropped two of three at Southern Miss last weekend, playing three games in under 24 hours due to inclement weather in Hattiesburg. Senior LHP Zac Curtis tossed his second consecutive complete game in Friday's 13-1 win, tying a career-high with 11 strikeouts, while 10 different Blue Raiders had a hit, and eight players drove in a run. Southern Miss took Saturday's doubleheader, 7-0 and 7-6.

Middle Tennessee returns to the friendly confines of Reese Smith, Jr. Field for Tuesday's game against Belmont having won seven of its last nine at home. Belmont (13-18, 5-7 OVC) has won six straight dating back to March 29. The Blue Raiders hold a 36-12 advantage against the Bruins dating back to 1974.

Tuesday's game features the $2-for-Tuesday promotion at Reese Smith, Jr. Field. Tickets, hot dogs and Pepsi fountain drinks from the concession stand are all priced at $2 for the midweek contest.

Wednesday, the Blue Raiders will travel to Cookeville in the second half of an annual home-and-home series with Tennessee Tech (25-8, 9-6 OVC). The Golden Eagles dropped two of three over the weekend against Austin Peay, and will play Tennessee Tuesday night before hosting the Blue Raiders. Tennessee Tech took the first meeting of the year 9-5 in Murfreesboro in the Blue Raiders' home opener Feb. 18.

Junior RHP Kooper Kessler (1-0, 4.11) will start for Middle Tennessee Tuesday against Belmont RHP Chase Cunningham (1-3, 5.46). Freshman RHP Caleb Smith (2-0, 4.50) will make his first collegiate start on Wednesday at Tennessee Tech. The Golden Eagles have not yet announced a starter for Wednesday night.

Dick Palmer will have the call for both games on the Blue Raider Network at 92.5 WMOT2 on the FM dial in Murfreesboro and online worldwide at GoBlueRaiders.com.

Following the midweek contests, the Blue Raiders will host Mississippi Valley State for three games this weekend. MT and the Delta Devils will square off Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

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